Connecting Aussies with for-purpose businesses during lockdown
3 May 2020 at 8:00 am
Lockdown Local hopes to help people source their pandemic supplies from sustainable businesses
Australians are being urged to back organisations that “put people and the environment first”, by supporting small, sustainable businesses throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.
Kimberley Lee and Anna Crabb recently launched Lockdown Local to help connect people with the products and services they need from social enterprises, B Corps, First Nations businesses, and other sustainable businesses.
Lee said during the coronavirus pandemic, small businesses needed the community’s support more than ever.
“As a society, we tend to buy from who we know as a default, generally big and well known retailers, but small businesses can provide the same, if not better products with the added bonus of your dollar giving back to the community – you just need to know where to find them,” Lee said.
Crabb invited people to share their favourite social enterprises, B Corps and sustainable small businesses that were selling what they needed in lockdown, including food, homewares and clothes.
“The choices we make now will shape how we recover from this pandemic,” Crabb said.
“We’re backing the businesses that put people and the environment first.”
One business involved with Lockdown Local is Monochrome Coffee Co., a social enterprise coffee roaster which supports impact projects in Tanzania.
While the business has funded 50,000 education days, and run seminars to hundreds of parents across East Africa, the coffee is roasted locally in Abbotsford, Victoria.
Co-founder Whitney Teluk told Pro Bono News the COVID-19 crisis has forced them to make some changes to the way they operate.
“Our main focus is usually providing coffee to office spaces and enabling businesses to have a social impact through their procurement function,” Teluk said.
“With so many people working from home this has really slowed down so we have had to shift things a little.”
Teluk encouraged Australians to support the social enterprise sector throughout the pandemic.
She said giving people simple ways to make a tangible social impact remained important.
“Most people spend an amount on coffee so buying your coffee from a social enterprise is a really easy way to make a difference,” she said.
“I would say that connection and making a difference is more important now than ever during this time where we are isolated and experiencing uncertainty.”
Nick Savaidis is the founder of ethical fashion brand Etiko, another business involved in Lockdown Local.
Etiko’s prime focus is on supporting communities in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, by making sure cotton farmers are paid a fair price for their produce and workers in factories get a living wage.
Savaidis told Pro Bono News these overseas communities needed continual support during the crisis.
“As a company that has focused on creating a fairer, more sustainable world and a certified B Corp we were stoked to be invited to be part of the Lockdown Local community,” Savaidis said.
“During the current pandemic these communities have no government support. For the past few weeks it is only the fairtrade premiums that we pay which has helped them feed themselves and their families.”